Amit Shah to address virtual rally for Bengal on Tuesday

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Kolkata, Jun 8 (PTI) Union Home Minister Amit Shah is likely to raise the TMC government's alleged mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic and the migrant labour crisis in West Bengal in his virtual rally for the state on Tuesday, BJP sources here said.

Although the address is part of BJP's 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' campaign, the sources said, Shah is likely to touch issues such as 'state government's mishandling of COVID outbreak, migrant labour crisis and politics of violence'.

'Amit Shah Ji obviously will speak about the achievements of the Union government in tackling the COVID crisis. But at the same time, he is expected to touch issues of political violence in the state, state government's complete failure in tackling the COVID pandemic, migrant labour crisis and post-Cyclone Amphan situation,' a senior state BJP leader said.

'Lakhs of people, including our party cadres, would be eagerly waiting for his speech,' the leader said.

The saffron camp, which last week released a 'nine-point chargesheet' against Mamata Banerjee's rule over the past nine years, has recently floated a social media drive christened 'Aar Noi Mamata' (no longer Mamata's rule).

According to state BJP sources, the party is planning to conduct more than 1,000 virtual rallies, covering every nook and corner of the state.

'For the last two months, our cadres are sitting idle at homes. Amit Shah Ji's rally would be very crucial to boost the morale of our cadres and will help them to re-energise ahead of the next year's assembly polls,' the BJP leader said.

Around 1,000 party workers would participate directly in the virtual rally and ask questions, and more than 3 lakh people would watch it live on social media, the sources said.

Shah's virtual rally for Bengal comes days after he had exuded confidence of BJP winning a majority in next year's assembly polls.

Buoyed by stupendous performance in the last year's general election in which BJP had bagged 18 seats out of a total of 42, only four less than TMC' tally, the saffron party leaders have been asserting that 2021 Bengal polls is the next target.

The BJP and the TMC, which have been at each other's jugular over the handling of the COVID-19 situation, migrant workers' plight and Cyclone Amphan, are all set to launch a blitzkrieg on various virtual platforms, tearing into each other over these issues.

The TMC was first off the block with its supremo Mamata Banerjee holding a virtual meeting with functionaries and public representatives on June 5, outlining the party's strategy for the polls.

The Bengal BJP will take the plunge on Tuesday, with Shah' virtual rally.

Shah last addressed a pro-CAA rally at Kolkata's iconic Shahid Minar Grounds on March 1. PTI PNT SNS ABH ABH